Kayaking is an amazing activity that keeps you mentally as well as physically fit. However, if things go wrong while you’re in the water, the situation can become extremely serious very fast. Fortunately, with the necessary precautions and safety tips, it is remarkably safe and enjoyable.
With the adequate paddling and navigational skills, you can enjoy Kayaking to your heart’s content. Accidents can happen to any Kayak Angler. You can follow the safety tips listed below to be as safe as possible:
#1. Avoid Going Alone
It is always better to go in groups and let your family or friends know your exact location. You can ping them your location using any Instant Messaging application.
#2. Learn About Wind And Currents
Avoid Kayaking on windy days as it can slow you down and make it very difficult for you to take turns. You should also avoid Kayaking in foggy conditions as you will get disoriented.
It is also better to avoid kayaking in the strong currents and always be aware of the weather conditions.
#3. Learn Everything About Hypothermia
Before you go Kayaking, learn about the conditions in the area. Wear appropriate clothing and insulating clothes while kayaking in the cold water. Dress according to to the temperature of the water and remember that hypothermia is a great risk for the sea kayakers.
#4. Inflatable PFDs
The inflatable PFDs inflate automatically when they hit the water. You can also blow air into them manually but you should go for the ones that inflate automatically. They can prove to be life-saving if you meet an accident and become unconscious. Even if you’re not required to wear your PFD by law, you should still wear it.
#5. Kayak Whistles
Make sure you keep your whistles on you all the time. You can attach the whistles to your lanyard or life vest.
It is important for you to be visible at night or during the low-light conditions. Try to avoid putting green or red lights on your Kayak as Kayaks are not capable of clearing the way for the power-driven vehicles. Red or Green lights can confuse the other vehicles on the water.
You can use the white lights for proper signaling.
#7. Visual Distress Signals(VDS)
Beside the lightings, you should have night signals when operating Kayaks at night. Make sure you keep at least three VDS for emergency situations. You can use the electric lights, red meteors, and red flares. Make sure that any of the VDS you use is not expired.
#8. Visibility During Daytime
If you’re on a small kayak that cannot move very quickly, it can be difficult for other boats to spot you. If you are kayaking in the high traffic areas, you can use a bright colored flag. You should position it well above your height. Don’t confuse this flag with a VDS.
#9. Kayak Color
The colors of your kayak and the paddle can be extremely helpful to increase your visibility. Bright colors on your paddles and the kayak are quite important for your safety.
#10. Rain Gear
Be prepared to get wet when you go Kayaking whether it is raining or not. Use proper rain gear to keep any excess water off you. The rain gear will also work as a wind blocker and keep you warm during the breezy days.
#11. Handheld Radios
In the remote areas, you might not get signals on your cell phones. You can use the handheld radios with the people nearby if you need any help. Make sure that you buy a waterproof one.
#12. First Aid Kit
The first-aid can be very useful in dealing with an abrasion or a cut while kayaking. Saltwater can carry the bacteria that may cause infection if your cuts remain untreated. At a minimum, make sure carry band-aids, antibiotic wipes, antibiotic ointment, a waterproof tape and pain relievers.
No matter how experienced kayaker or how safe the area is, accidents can happen anytime. You will always be grateful to yourself for carrying the necessary kayak items with you during the trip.
Make sure you follow the safety tips and carry the safety equipment with you to keep yourself safe. Always wear the PFDs that can inflate automatically whether you need to wear them by law or not. Carry the lights, VDS, first-aid kits with you during the trips. Educate yourself about the currents and the weather conditions.